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PAVE Essay Contest and Scholarship Program

The entry period for PAVE’s 2024 Essay Contest is now closed.

Thanks to everyone who participated!

We plan to announce the winners later this spring.


Partners for Automated Vehicle Education is excited to partner with STEER, the District Department of Transportation, and the Maryland Department of Transportation to host the second annual  PAVE Essay Contest and Scholarship Program for high school juniors and seniors in Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

What is the PAVE Essay Contest?

The PAVE Essay Contest and Scholarship Program encourages high school juniors and seniors to imagine a world with autonomous vehicles and write about what this new technology would mean for their communities. Students need to submit their final essays (1,000 words or fewer) by 11:59 p.m. ET on March 15, 2024.

Who can enter?

The contest is open to high school juniors and seniors who live in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

Where is the contest?

This year’s contest is in the Washington D.C. Tri-State Area, but we will expand to other locations for the 2024-2025 school year.

What do I write about?

Students can choose between three essay prompts, and they should submit their essay (1,000 words or fewer) by the March 15, 2024 deadline.  The essay prompts for the contest are listed in the entry form.

How are the winners selected?

A selection committee, made up of AV industry experts, will score the essays using this scoring rubric.

How do I enter?

To enter, complete your entry form, including the text of  your essay (1,000 words or fewer), by 11:59 p.m. ET on March 15, 2024. If you are unable to access the Google form, send an email to [email protected] and we’ll send you a pdf copy of the submission form.

What do the winners receive?

The first, second and third place winners will receive college scholarship funding, as follows:

First place – $2500

Second place – $1500

Third place – $1000

What are the rules?

You can read all of the rules and guidelines for the contest here. Note that all essays will be run through an AI detector, and any found to have been AI-generated will be disqualified.

Who are the contest sponsors?

We are incredibly grateful for our generous contest sponsors who are providing the scholarship funding, assisting with contest planning, and serving on the evaluation committees.

This year’s contest is sponsored by:


Maryland Department of Transportation

District Department of Transportation.